The Final Lesson: The Lifestyle of the Cross

Good Friday. Finally, a time to rest, to fast, to reflect, to resume blogging after almost four months.
 

I just got back from our special worship service. Seven of us were asked by our pastor to preach on the seven last words of the Lord Jesus Christ. Being the one assigned to the last word, I was also asked to synthesize the seven messages.

As I was listening to the first six speakers, it slowly dawned on me that the Lord’s seven last words, all spoken on the cross, were actually one Final Lesson. Awesome! The Final Lesson can be viewed as a reminder of the lifestyle that the Lord Jesus wants us, his disciples, to live. That lifestyle includes:

St. Francis was praying before the San Damiano Crucifix (now in the Basilica of St. Claire in Assisi) when he received God's commission to rebuild the church.
  1. Pagpapatawad (Forgiveness). Like Jesus, we forgive those who have hurt us. They probably didn’t really know what they were doing to us, and even if they did, we still forgive them because we ourselves have been, and continue to be, forgiven by our merciful God.
  2. Pagbahagi ng Salita ng Diyos (Evangelism). Like Jesus, we remain ever ready to share the Word of God with others in the hope that they, too, will receive it, no matter how impossible that may seem, remembering how the repentant thief was given the grace to enter God’s Kingdom only a few hours before he died.
  3. Pagmamalasakit (Compassion). Like Jesus, rather than focusing on ourselves we open our eyes to see how others are hurting and open our minds to the Holy Spirit to know how we can help them. Our Lord had earlier brought back to life Lazarus and the only son of the Nain widow so that these men would be able to care for their womenfolk. Knowing that he was finally returning to the Father, Jesus therefore gave his mother to the care of the only disciple who had the courage to stand at the foot of his cross, “the disciple whom he loved” (John 19:26).
  4. Pagtitiyaga (Patience/Perseverance). Like Jesus, we persevere and remain patient, calmly enduring hardship, inconvenience, or delay. Jesus “personally carried our sins in his body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24) so he was therefore abandoned on the cross by God, who is Righteous (יְהֹוָה צִדְקֵנוּ). Jesus calmly endured not only physical pain but the unfathomable spiritual anguish of being separated from God the Father by our sins, because he had faith that, in the end, the Father can and will make all things right.
  5. Pag-ibig sa Diyos (Love for God) at Pagpapakumbaba (Humility toward Others). Jesus thirsts for our love. And so we we love Him back, who loved us first (1 John 4:19). And like Jesus, we humble ourselves by asking others for help.
  6. Pagganap sa ating misyon (Mission). Like Jesus, we discover (if we haven’t discovered yet) and fulfill our special mission in this world as we focus on God every moment of each day, so that at the end of our lives, we, too, like Jesus, can say “It (our mission) is finished.”
  7. Pagtiwala sa Panginoon (Faith/Trust). Like Jesus, we entrust our lives to our Heavenly Father, believing in His unchanging love for us, and in His mighty power to accomplish what His love for us wills.
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4 thoughts on “The Final Lesson: The Lifestyle of the Cross

  1. Its quite ironic sir, but i’m actually having problems with forgiveness right now, at a time when the Lenten season should be reminding me of how important it is. Worries and problems seems to have no season, and they seem to have gotten the best of me. But you are right, if we are to declare ourselves as followers of Jesus we need to follow His examples. I will try my best to forgive and pray to God that He give me the strength. Thank you for this post. It is like a breath of fresh air.

    1. Thank you, Jundy. I hope that it is not me whom you have difficulty forgiving. 🙂 I have an outreach road trip which begins tonight (Monday night) and ends on Friday, but I hope that next week I will be able to meet with you to discuss your dissertation proposal. God bless!

      1. Definitely not you Sir! Almost all the ideas i have been working with already emanated from you. It is a personal matter which I have already settled, thanks to your motivating post. God Bless on your road trip Sir.

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